During the programme

During the unique curriculum of Sustainable Business Transition you are trained as a transition expert. You will become competent in sustainable business development, innovation, creative thinking and applied research. Together with leading companies, you work on innovation challenges.

Sustainable Business students during a lecture on business models

The transition to a new economy offers many chances, but also comes with challenges and threats for companies. To navigate this complex and uncertain future, businesses need a new type of professional with a radically different mindset, knowledge and skills. During this Master's programme you will learn how to tackle this changing business landscape.

Content of the Master Sustainable Business Transition

In the first module, you specialise in sustainable business development and the circular economy. You learn to develop sustainable solutions for existing companies. You learn to evaluate different sustainable, circular and inclusive business models. These insights are paired with system thinking, and practical tools such as ecosystem mapping, which helps analyse the complex networks around organisations. You will learn to create sustainable business models, analyse complex systems, and propose a sustainable business model.

Moreover, you will work with different tools to facilitate your creative and disruptive thinking. This module introduces the roles and skills that future professionals, such as transition experts and sustainability officers, need to be equipped with.

In module 2, you’ll look at the ethical and social consequences of business models, and learn to look at the long-term consequences of “Big Tech”. You analyse new technologies and look towards the future to tackle deeper questions of power, surveillance, inclusion and value. The impact of data-driven technologies, from AI to the Internet of Things, is discussed on a deeper social and ethical level. We use concepts from critical algorithm studies, STS and other fields to assess these developments.

You will learn to critically evaluate business models and consider their ethical impact on other people and the environment, with specific attention to data-driven business models. You will learn to apply different ways of future thinking and create scenarios.

Finally, you will learn to translate your insights into business success, most notably actionable strategies that help achieve corporate social responsibility.

This module offers two courses on the theme shared value, as well as an elective of your choice. This course focuses on alternative business models, driven by strategic collaborations with the community itself and the entire business ecosystem. The focus on co-creation with different stakeholders and actors in the business ecosystem has become inevitable. As a result, new collaborative business models have emerged. Think of hybrid organisations, crowdfunding models, and even completely decentralised businesses on the blockchain.

You learn to collaborate with different actors from business, government, civil society and research organisations. You write a funding proposal for a sustainable initiative, bringing different stakeholders and forms of finance together holistically.

In the module Graduate, you will have to apply all the competences of SBT in a high-level individual project. You apply the knowledge, ways of working and ways of collaborating that you gathered throughout the programme to your graduation challenge. These challenges are formulated by clients from the work field and solved in small learning teams, where each student explores a different facet of the problem. You will work on a professional product (such as a sustainable business model or a strategy) and thesis individually.

Before the project begins, you have already worked on your research proposal and done the first phase of your research (think of desk research or competitor analysis). At the end of the module, you defend your graduation project as well as your proficiency in the SBT competences.

Meet the Sustainable Business lecturers

We regularly invite experts and guest lecturers to the programme. Our graduation process, for instance, is created in close collaboration with the professional field and researchers. However, our core team consists of passionate lecturers. Let’s introduce them.

Dr. Nicolle Lamerichs

Senior lecturer (HHD) affiliated to Creative Business

Nicolle is coordinator of Sustainable Business Transition and team lead of Creative Business. She specialises in consumer culture, technology and (media) platforms. She teaches future thinking in the SBT module Future.

Dr. Marieke Kragten

Lecturer affiliated to International Business Studies

Marieke is one of the coordinators of Sustainable Business Transition. She is skilled in Sustainable Development, Responsible Value Chains, Sustainable Innovations, Circular Economy and Emerging markets. She teaches in the SBT module New Economy.

Dr. Lenka van Riemsdijk

Lecturer and researcher affiliated to International Business Studies

Lenka is researcher for the lectorate Marketing & Customer Experience. She specialises in sustainable marketing, consumer culture and circular trends. She is one of the graduation coordinators of Sustainable Business Transition and teaches the elective Sustainable Marketing.

Bjorn Beijnon

Lecturer and researcher affiliated to Creative Business 

Bjorn is a lecturer at the HU and PhD candidate at the University of Amsterdam. He specialises in new media platforms, the attention economy and the impact of technology. He is one of the graduation coordinators of Sustainable Business Transition and teaches in the SBT module Future.

Marijn de Wit

Lecturer and researcher affiliated to International Business Studies

Marijn specialises in creativity, design thinking and agile ways of working. He is also active as a scrum master and process manager within the HU. He teaches systems thinking in the SBT module New Economy.

Toufic Elcure Alvarez

Lecturer and researcher affiliated to International Business Studies

Toufic is a lecturer affiliated to International Business Studies. He teaches classes on scenario development, digital marketing and change management. He provides coaching in Future Lab in the SBT module Future.

Jolijn van Duijnhoven

Coordinator and coach Minor Entrepreneurship, affiliated to Marketing and Commerce programmes

Jolijn specialises in intercultural management, emerging markets and entrepreneurial education. She provides lab sessions in the SBT Module New Economy.

Gabi Spitz

Lecturer and researcher affiliated to International Business Studies

Gabi is a lecturer at the HU and PhD candidate in the Responsible Organisation Programme at Nijmegen School of Management. She provides a course on strategic collaboration in the SBT module Shared Value.

Naomi Thellier de Poncheville

Lecturer affiliated to Creative Business

Naomi is a lecturer at Creative Business, passionate about sustainability and regenerative design. She teaches the SBT elective Sustainable Leadership.

Heath Broussard

Lecturer affiliated to Creative Business

Heath is a lecturer in Creative Business and consultant passionate about branding. He teaches Collaborative Economy in the SBT Module Shared Value.

Two international students working on a project.


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    Want to know more about the programme?

    This programme is developed as an international classroom with different didactic methods. We offer a blended format, with different workshops, guest lectures, conferences, lab sessions and studios, as well as a wide range of interactive, student-driven formats. Modules are 10 weeks long and include a self-study week as well to work on your final portfolio.

    Our programme is highly competence-driven. Our students are educated in close connection to the skills and knowledge required by the professional field. Our partners from the professional field share their experiences in guest lectures, challenges and other formats. Moreover, students will learn from each other in interdisciplinary projects and learning teams.

    Applied research is central in this master, with a focus on independent research. Creative methods, tools and processes go hand-in-hand with research and analysis in this programme. We will often integrate our student projects with those of research centres within and outside of the HU. Moreover, students apply their knowledge to challenges from the professional field.

    At Utrecht Science Park, we team up with partners who focus on transition, the future, sustainability and innovation. The research and education lines of this programme are developed in line with research projects that have international impact. Our students explore these topics and help build the knowledge and expertise in these areas. Their projects are not isolated, but their results and insights will be translated to the work field and other partners.

    The didactics and assessment In Sustainable Business Transition are competence-based. The emphasis in our curriculum is on demonstrating the competences. In other words, we have a competence-based approach to our teaching and assessment.

    We assess the competences (amongst others sustainable business development and future thinking) in a holistic way with integral assignments of 15 ECTS per module. This means there are no separate assessments per course, but that we look at the growth in the module and its competences as a whole. The competences of our curriculum are grounded in what is needed and relevant in the professional field.

    Throughout the programme, you maintain a portfolio detailing feedback, advice, and progress, based on your professional products and assignments. This allows you to reflect on your growth in a certain competence throughout the entire curriculum.

    Overall our teaching is:

    • Co-created with the professional field
      We regularly invite professionals and also work with actual challenges from the industry and research
    • Student-driven
      This is a Master’s programme and you are often in the lead during tutorials. You provide insights and actively chair classes. You are considered a professional already, who has a Bachelor’s degree and work experience to bring to the table.
    • Blended
      We integrate different tools and platforms in our programme. Learning does not just happen in the classroom, but also in your own learning team meetings, remote expert sessions and other situations.
    • International
      The SBT classroom is highly international and vibrant. Students with different cultural backgrounds and Bachelor’s degrees collaborate and learn from one another. SBT is one community with students, staff, alumni and professional partners.

    You need to have 40 hours reserved for your study in general, since it is full-time. We provide 12-15 contact hours on average. In addition you meet with your own peers in learning teams in your own time for about 5 hours a week to review assignments together. Additionally, you study individually and collaborate on assignments for approximately 20 hours a week.

    Portret of Katje Meisel

    "I am working together with a start-up, and my project focuses on accelerating the sustainable transition of the cocoa sector."

    Katja (26) Germany
    Portret of Milan Corporaal

    "A good course can only work with a good teacher and we had one of the most excited and engaging teachers that I have ever had."

    Milan (24) Netherlands

    Why study Sustainable Business Transition at HU?

    • Vibrant university city Utrecht

      Beautiful Utrecht has lots of young people and excellent facilities for student life. It has a mediaeval city centre which is small enough to explore by foot or bicycle. Enjoy a drink next to the quaint canals or dine in one of the converted wharf cellars.

    • Utrecht Science Park Campus

      Studying at HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht means you get to enjoy all the benefits of our modern campus, Utrecht Science Park (USP). A miniature city with the universities' buildings, student housing, restaurants, cafés, a sports centre, and much more, it enjoys excellent transport links to Utrecht and beyond.

    • Inspiring international setting

      HU supports your ambitions. Our lecturers will tutor and assist you in making the most of this international programme. During your time in Utrecht, you will meet students from all over the world and make connections to last a lifetime.

    View of the urban & green city of Utrecht

    Interested in the Master Sustainable Business Transition?

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